Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Reviews: The Flash #5

It's been five months since DC relaunched The Flash. Reader reviews of The Flash: The Fastest Man Alive #5 have been popping up around the web and, though many fans are trying to patiently ride-out the current storyline, sentiments regarding the new creative team remain constant. Many vocal readers are poised to drop this book if Bart Allen's adventures as the scarlet speedster don't improve.

  • Adam Chapman of ComiXtreme seems optimistic in commenting, "This series has been a bit of a rollercoaster in terms of quality since it launched, with the first two issues being quite strong, and then the following two stumbling, both artistically and in the script. This issue, however, is a return to the form we were hoping would be the norm after issues one and two, with Bart finally taking hold of himself, and the plot introducing some new elements which offset the still bothersome Griffin subplot... It's still nowhere near the quality of Wally's "Flash", especially when Waid or Johns were writing, but it does show some definite signs of promise, and hopefully the creative team can turn the boat around and back in a quality direction."
  • Doug at Turning the Light Around, too, is waiting for the series to eventually improve. "This book is starting to annoy me less, which is not to say that it's gotten too much better than it was originally. At least they're trying new artists, and this one, Ron Adrian, is not as bad as some of the previous artists... I'm not dropping this, I'll never drop this: I love Flash too much, so I really want this to stop being such a frustrating experience each month. Come on, people."
  • Michael Hartney, in the latest Uncle Mikey's Funnybook Round-Up, is less optimistic in aknowledging where the current creative team has failed us. "More fairly interesting story, more fairly lame art. What is happening here? Does DC realize how badly the ball is being fumbled with this book? Do they realize that if I'm not blown away by next issue's conclusion to the first arc (which promises to flashback to Bart's fight with Superboy Prime in the Speed Force), I will drop the book? And I think I'm one of the few hangers-on left. I'll finish this storyline out, and take it from there. Dazzle me, Bilson and DeMeo. And for the love of Christ, don't let Ken Lashley, Ron Adrian, or Sal Velluto anywhere near this book."

Monday, October 30, 2006

Reviews: Justice #8

Reviews are coming in for Justice #8, Alex Ross' epic tale that pits the Legion of Doom against the classic Justice League. This issue prominenty featured the Flash facing off against one of his most memorable nemeses, Captain Cold.
  • Troy Brownfield at Newsarama says, "If Justice isn't the coolest live action Challenge of the Superfriends that we're never gonna get, I don't know what is. Issue #8 also functions a lot like the other book I covered in that the Justice League of America functions pretty much for the first time in this series as a unit when they get a fairly clear understanding of what they are up against and what they need to do to fix things... The Flash's confrontation with Captain Cold was pretty money too. Credit Barry Allen with addressing what I always thought was weird about the villains' shortsightedness in taking heroes out of commission ('And that means you tried to kill everyone I hope to save until the day I die. That's a lot of people.'). Yeah, Cap. These heroes are saving you too."
  • Charles Wisniowski of FanBoyWonder feels that "this was by far the best issue of the 12 issue maxi series so far—both in the story and especially in the art. On the art, Doug Braithwaite and Alex Ross have definitely hit their stride. On the story, even with minimal action, it was the little things that made this issue—the Elongated Man/Plastic Man confrontation, Batman’s interrogation of Captain Cold and the tender moment between Captain Marvel and Wonder Woman as she contemplates the demise of her immortal life."

Saturday, October 28, 2006


David "Hermanos" Brothers of 4thletter!, participating in a fan-prompted "Publisher for a Day: DC Comics" exercise, proposes a new title that would call for The Flash: The Fastest Man Alive to be cancelled and relaunched as ZOOM. It's a unique and interesting idea.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Unlimited Powers

Newsarama has posted "Greatest Stories Never Told: Unlimited Powers" by David Gutierrez, an extensive and detailed article from Two Morrows' Back Issue #19 that tells the tale of an unproduced television pilot pitched to CBS by Danny Bilson and Paul DeMeo, the writing team behind The Flash television series and DC's The Flash: The Fastest Man Alive. The first episode of the series, Ulimited Powers, was entitled "The Return of the Flash," and the scarlet speedster is very much at the heart of their epic story.

An aged speedster. A bio-engineered man. A novice archer. A black mage. These four became a new Justice League in a world of dark politics and the absence of heroism, where "Batman hung up his cape," and "Superman departed for galaxies unknown" in the non-produced CBS pilot, Unlimited Powers. Unfortunately, their story would remain untold--until today...

"The Return of the Flash," the Unlimited Powers pilot, opens with a bang. Barry Allen, the Flash, escapes from a 15-year-long suspended-animation prison sentence and runs out into oppressive Central City. Now a virtual police state run by Civic Governor Kendrick, the Flash is declared a fugitive. For the first time in his career, he experiences fatigue when he uses his powers. His age is catching up with him now that his body has outrun his mind.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

On Sale: Justice #8

Available today from DC Comics is Justice #8, the latest installment in the exciting twelve-part series from Jim Krueger, Doug Braithwaite, and Alex Ross. Ross' cover for the issue features the Flash chasing down Captain Cold, representing the traditional battle that plays out in the first pages of the issue. Newsarama has posted a five page preview of the issue which offers a glimpse at the action.

Written by Jim Krueger and Alex Ross; Art by Doug Braithwaite and Ross; Cover by Alex Ross. The worst fears of the Justice League are realized, as the villains strike through those closest to the heroes! DC Universe 40pg. Color $3.50 US.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

On Sale: JLU DVD

On sale today from Warner Home Video is Justice League Unlimited: Season One. The DVD collection contains twenty-six half-hour episodes and includes "Task Force X," the episode featuring Captain Boomerang, and "Divided We Fall," the thrilling and unforgettable episode in which the Flash single-handedly saves the Justice League and the world from a combined Luthor/Brainiac in a spectacular climax inspired by Mark Waid's "Terminal Velocity." This set may be a must-have for Flash fans specifically because of the latter episode. It is not to be missed.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Interview: Geoff Johns

Newsarama has posted an interview with longtime Flash scribe Geoff Johns in which he reflects on his work with DC Comics and his own personal writing process.

Geoff Johns holds universes in the palm of his hand. At least that’s the way it seems when reading his books. The prolific writer has tackled the biggest guns of the DC Comics Universe including Superman, Green Lantern, the Flash and everyone else in his world destroying, continuity tearing summer event, Infinite Crisis, and currently he’s reforming the legendary Justice Society of American while helping team up to chronicle 52 weeks in the DC Universe alongside other event-level writers, Mark Waid, Grant Morrison, Greg Rucka and Keith Giffen. Geoff has a way of finding the humanity in the four color heroes that reach out and massage your heart, enabling the reader to form tight bonds of friendship, joy, sadness and triumph just before introducing another element that will change everything you thought you know and everything you held dear.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

DC Direct Wishlist

Troy Brownfield, the Rev. OJ Flow, and Jim Beard of Newsarama have posted a definitive DC Direct wishlist, citing the figures they'd most like to see. It's an interesting line-up and, naturally, the scarlet speedster is listed--more than once. I think they speak for all of us when they say, "We can always use another good Flash."

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Teen Titans: Year One

Newsarama reports that DC Comics will be publishing no less than five Year One miniseries next year in order to spotlight, streamline, and redefine some of those characters who will prove significant to the DC Universe in the months to come. Among the five titles is Teen Titans: Year One from Amy Wolfram and Karl Kerschl and, as DC Executive Editor Dan Didio explains, the miniseries will involve the earliest incarnation of the team. This means the story will be offering some insight into the young Wally West's introductory interaction with his teammates.

"Basically, it all ties into the concept that we came out of Infinite Crisis with, where we’re looking at some characters that, over the years, given the twists and turns and reboots and shifting continuities, may have had their focus shifted a little. These allow us to refocus the direction for each one of these characters and reestablish their origins are, and also where they might be headed to in the future...

"We want to go back and show what the earliest team was, and rebuild that origin, too. I don’t think we’ve ever done a Year One with that team before, and by doing this, it will allow us to look at the relationship between Robin and Wonder Girl and Kid Flash, Speedy, Aqualad and the rest as the team is built, while showing some of the lesser-known Teen Titans characters along the way.And also, because we’re in the position of creating the Titans East, we thought it would be a good time to go back and establish the roots a little more of the original team."

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

On Sale: Justice League Heroes

Justice League Heroes is being released today for PlayStation 2, Xbox, and Nintendo DS. Also available now is the Gameboy Advance variant of the game spotlighting the scarlet speedster, Justice League Heroes: The Flash.

Monday, October 16, 2006

Upcoming: The Flash #8

DC Comics has released their soliciations for January, including a description and artwork for The Flash: The Fastest Man Alive #8. The spectacular cover by Daniel Acuña shows us the Flash will be facing Inertia, as promised, in a battle in Las Vegas! Can it be long before we're refering to Inertia as the new Reverse-Flash?

Written by Danny Bilson and Paul DeMeo; Art by Ron Adrian and Art Thibert ; Cover by Daniel Acuña. Smackdown on the Strip! Bart Allen's dark twin Inertia lures the Fastest Man Alive to Vegas, determined to own the Speed Force at any cost. DC Universe 32pg. Color $2.99 US. On Sale January 17, 2007.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Upcoming: Teen Titans #43

Newsarama has a preview of Teen Titans #43, coming in January. The issue, written by Geoff Johns, will be the first to feature the new Titans East, a line-up of villains that includes Inertia, Bart Allen's evil clone.

Written by Geoff Johns; Art by Tony Daniel & Jonathan Glapion; Cover by Daniel. Part 1 of the eagerly anticipated “Titans East” story! Led by Deathstroke, a Teen Titans team consisting of Batgirl, Risk, Match, Alter Boy, Enigma, Sun Girl and Inertia is out to chew gum and kick butt…and guess what? They’re all out of gum! On sale January 10 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

September Sales

Diamond Comic Distributors have released their monthly Direct Market sales charts and Market Share report for September, and Newsarama has posted a review of the data. The Flash has improved its standing slightly. The Flash: The Fastest Man Alive #4 ranks twenty-fifth on the list of top selling comic titles, five places ahead of its placement in August. As usual, the scarlet speedster is just behind DC's Supergirl, though he's currently outrunning the Teen Titans and Superman.

20. Civil War Young Avengers & Runaways #3 ($2.99) Marvel - 82.64
21. Civil War Files ($3.99) Marvel - 81.75
22. X-Men Phoenix Warsong #1 ($2.99) Marvel - 78.51
23. Ultimate X-Men #74 ($2.99) Marvel - 75.39
24. Supergirl #10 ($2.99) DC - 73.73
25. Flash: Fastest Man Alive #4 ($2.99) DC - 72.97
26. Teen Titans #39 ($2.99) DC - 72.21
27. Ms. Marvel #7 CW ($2.99) Marvel - 71.12
28. Moon Knight #5 ($2.99) Marvel - 70.86
29. Superman #656 ($2.99) DC - 70.37

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Comic Caper

Mike Middleton has written in his blog about one of his most fondly remembered childhood comic book reads, The Flash #268. This was one of the first Flash comics I ever read as a child and, like Mike, I don't think I'll ever forget it.

One of my favorite comics as a kid was this beauty from December, 1978. It had an innovative plot that impressed me greatly. It was one of the few times a comic book was an integral part of a comic book story... The story still holds up today and is one of the funnest comics of the 1970's.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

On Sale: JLA Classified #28

On sale today is JLA: Classified #28. The cover, by Kilian Plunkett and Tom Nguyen, boasts a fantastic portrait of the fastest man alive in action. The story inside is sure to feature some high-speed action, too.

Written by Howard Chaykin; Art and cover by Kilian Plunkett and Tom Nguyen. Still deep under cover— and violating a United Nations sanction — the JLA infiltrates enemy lines and comes face-to-face with their meta-humans! DC Universe 32pg. Color $2.99 US.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Happy Birthday, Barry!

Anthony's Annotations bids a Happy 50th to the Silver Age. This month marks fifty years since Barry Allen made his debut in Showcase #4 and launched a brand new era for costumed superhero stories and a new renaissance for sequential art.

October marks the 50th anniversary of what's usually considered as the start of the Silver Age of comic books---Showcase #4 (Sept.-Oct. 1956), featuring the first appearance of the second and longest-lasting version of the Flash, a "police scientist" named Barry Allen who gained his powers through being splashed by chemicals that were struck by a lightning bolt.

Comics' "Golden Age" had dwindled by the early 50s, with the superheroes (such as the first superhero team, the Justice Society) having been given the heave-ho in favor of other genres, such as funny-animals, Westerns, and horror. By 1956, someone at DC Comics apparently thought bringing back a revised version of an old hero would sell comics, and thus the second Flash, a revised version of the original Mercury-helmet-wearing Flash of the 40s, was born.

Monday, October 09, 2006


Max F. of QJ.net has posted some hype concerning the PSP version of the Justice League Heroes videogame, along with clips from the gameplay. The article admits that the Flash is just too fast to be captured on tape, however. That's fast. Cheers to Flash Appreciation Day!

Eidos is putting effort into this game (like the voice acting and unlockable characters). Woah! This just in... We have another video! Here we have a video of Flash, the Scarlet Speedster himself, the Fastest Man Alive (here at QJ, every day is Flash Appreciation Day). Wow, that was a nice vid! Did you see it? Neither did we. We guess he's just too fast to see, folks.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

DC Downloads

DC Comics has posted a new set of wallpapers. Some, including those for Infinite Crisis and The New Frontier, feature glimpses of the scarlet speedster. Look for these and others at the DC Downloads page.

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Speedster Skydiving

Comic fan Christopher Boyd of Paperghost lists The Flash (v.2) #54 -- a thrilling and rather memorable one-shot from William Messner-Loebs and Greg LaRocque -- first in his personal series of "Great Comics."

Consider this the first in a series of "This stuff rocks." First up -- The Flash issue 54... This time 'round, the good guy is left with something of a mission impossible and you know what he does? You know what he does, huh? Huh? I'll tell you, hotshot... The popquiz ends like this: Awesome! He's a guy that runs fast and he's jumping out of a plane!... One completely awesome comic from the pages of history.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Ira Schnapp

Laura Gjovaag's Aquaman Website is directing readers to Dial B for Blog, which has posted an articles concerning Ira Schnapp. Schnapp designed many of the DC Comics title logos during the great Silver Age, including the now famous title logo for The Flash, a logo so iconic that it continued in use throughout the vast majority of the scarlet speedster's adventures and became the basis for most future incarnations! Mike Tiefenbacher at Dial B for Blog has posted an overview of Schnapp's work and a gallery of his title logos and house ads from the era.

It seems to me that in his letter columns, DC editor Julie Schwartz may, at some point, have mentioned who designed the original Strange Adventures and Mystery in Space logos, a style inspired by the interior logo done for the Sensation Comics strip Astra, Girl of the Future. The same designer must also have done logos for House of Mystery, My Greatest Adventure, House of Secrets, The Flash, and The Atom. This same person redesigned the Batman logo in 1965... The designer is Ira Schnapp.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

JLH: The Flash

It looks as if Warner Bros. Interactive has released the box art for the upcoming Justice League Heroes: The Flash game for the Gameboy Advance, in which the scarlet speedster takes the spotlight. The game, along with its Justice League Heroes counterpart, is due for release on October 17th.

Monday, October 02, 2006

Profiling Professor Zoom

Dr. Sordid has posted a profile of Professor Zoom, the Reverse-Flash, as part of his 312 Days of Comics.

Every Holmes needs his Moriarty, and every Flash needs his Reverse-Flash. Although Eobard Thawne was not the first supervillain to be an evil duplicate of a Flash (that honour goes to the Rival, who briefly menaced Jay Garrick, back in the day), Thawne, who dubbed himself Professor Zoom is by far the most high-profile bearer of that title.

Sunday, October 01, 2006


Kelson Vibber has updated Those Who Ride the Lightning with a complete entry for Trajectory, the speedster from Manchester, Alabama that has been seen in the pages of 52.